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How To Increase Rental Bookings

Posted By Mclain

Image source: Top Drones For Sale

Whether you’ve invested in real estate specifically to get into the short term rental industry, or are considering renting out your primary residence (this is the case for many renters on Airbnb), you can always benefit from an increase in rental bookings. Why get into the short term travel industry? The numbers speak for themselves.

Millennials alone are predicted to spend $1.4 trillion on travel for each year by 2020. Up until this point, the average revenue per renter was $659. Another study conducted by Technavio forecasted the global vacation rental market to grow by 7.07% per year between 2017 – 2021. And lastly, the industry has seen explosive growth in urban rental accommodations vs. beach rentals. More and more people are seeking the city experience. Cities like San Diego with a hybrid city-beach life are even more desirable than ever.

With these numbers in mind, you gain a better understanding of the full potential of the vacation rental market. If you plan on listing a property, here are a few ways you can increase your bookings:

Make A Video

A house tour is a great way to give potential visitors an up-close look at your property. This “virtual walkthrough” of your space can make guests even more excited to book. This is especially true if you’ve frequently heard your guests say, “This looks so much better than the photos!”

Be sure that your video, like your photos, is of the highest quality. If you don’t have a solid camera with HD resolution, or know someone who can shoot it for you, it’s best to hold out for the right opportunity.

Drone videos are also a great way to capture homes, amenities (like a rooftop pool), views, and community features. And contrary to what you might think, drone access is easier than ever. Hundreds of drone footage companies are sprouting, and a quick search for “drone video companies in [insert city]” will likely yield some reliable results.

Set Up A Website

When you set up your own website, you have complete creative freedom to showcase your property the way that you want. You aren’t confined to the limits of your platform, and can include larger galleries, home tour videos, and can even highlight testimonials that are most important to you. A website is an ideal place to show off everything you have to offer, and you don’t have to worry about setting up a payment gateway (unless you want guests to be able to book directly through your website). Alternatively, you can create a “Booking” link that leads directly to your vacation rental platform of choice.

Utilize Email Marketing

Now that you’ve set up a website, you can start to utilize email marketing. Despite what many people think, email is still the preferred method of communication from brands to consumers, and email marketing has some of the best return on investments.

Studies have shown that customers who purchase product via email spend 138% more than customers who didn’t receive email offers. Welcome emails alone have proven to be particularly effective; on average, they receive 320% more revenue than other types of emails. In the short term rental space, email marketing serves multiple purposes:

  • Attract new renters
  • Encourage previous guests to return
  • Solicit recommendations from previous guests
  • Announce new features about your property
  • Highlight guest experiences
  • Announce specials and discounted bookings

Deals With Local Businesses

Another unique way to liven up your booking is offer local experiences. You can achieve this by partnering up with businesses in your community. This is a win-win for you, and local businesses.

Here’s how it works: you partner up with a business, such as a restaurant, to send guests their way. Let’s say a traditional breakfast platter at the diner across the street costs $12. You might pay the restaurant $9 for each guest, receive a coupon for the meal, and provide it to your guests as a “free breakfast” perk. Guests will likely buy more than what the coupon offers, creating additional income.

There are dozens of ways you can work out a successful partnership. For example, one Airbnb in Madrid partners with a local gelato shop to offer a coupon for $5 off, which is enough to pay for a cup of gelato, as well as a portion of another item.

Request A Review

Within a day after checkout, Airbnb automatically sends an email to your guests, reminding them to review your property. However, it’s easy for guests to consider the transaction done once they leave. They aren’t as invested in the review process as you are, and tend to forget it entirely.

Think about all the times you’ve purchased a product, eaten at a restaurant, or stayed at a hotel and left without leaving a review, good experience or otherwise. It happens naturally, without anyone even realizing how important it might be to the establishment.

It can be frustrating when you’ve worked hard to provide a great experience, and you don’t get the review to reflect it for future potential guests. A gentle nudge in the “review” direction goes a long way. Send them a message letting them know that you hope they had a wonderful stay. Mention that you’ve already left them a review; sometimes, this will work as healthy encouragement towards reciprocation.

Aim For Superhost Status

If you, like many others, are using Airbnb to rent your property, you can leverage the Superhost status to your benefit. A Superhost label is the equivalent of an “A+” in the short term rental space world. Several guests have confirmed that with Superhost status, not only were they able to increase their nightly rate, but saw a noticeable increase in the number of bookings, as guests seemed more comfortable with making a reservation.

To become a superhost, you have to meet Airbnb’s minimum requirements. You’ll need to have hosted at least 10 trips, maintained a 90% response rate at minimum, and have at least an 80% average rating if half of all your guests have left reviews. As a Superhost, you also have access to exclusive Airbnb-hosted events in your area, and receive priority support from customer service.

5 Mistakes You Should Never Make With Your Rental Property

Posted By Mclain

Main image source: Airbnb San Diego

The vacation rental industry is booming, and rental market growth numbers are a clear indication of this. According to the Smart Hosts Vacation Rental Forum, the vacation rental industry was valued at $100 billion in 2016. By 2019, they predict the industry will balloon to nearly $170 billion. In the USA alone, there’s been a 26% year-over-year growth. Platforms like Airbnb, VRBO, HomeAway, and FlipKey have made it easier than ever for property owners to create lucrative businesses through their real estate investments.

Whether you’re renting out your primary residence or have invested in real estate with the intent to rent, there’s no doubt that short and long-term vacation rentals can create a reliable stream of income. However, if you don’t take the necessary precautions, you risk losing out on your share of rental market.

It’s better to take a preventative approach to building out your listing than to wait for a mistake to happen to fix it. With that in mind, here are five mistakes you should never make with your rental property:

1) Pricing Your Property Wrong
It’s imperative that you price your rental property as accurately as possible. Pricing too low or too high can easily lead to a missed opportunity. One of the best ways to determine your pricing is to check out the competition. How much does it cost guests to rent similar properties in your market?

Evaluate a group of homes that share certain qualities and amenities, and price competitively without stooping too low. Platforms like Airbnb will suggest accurate pricing options based on data.

As you evaluate the market indepently, try to analyze properties that have at least ten reviews. This is because “newer” vacation rental listings tend to undercut their pricing to attract renters during their early operating stages. Properties with a handful of reviews are likely charging full market value, which provides you with an accurate number of what local properties are going for.

2) Doing The Bare Minimum
The key to running a successful rental property is to create a great rental experience. For example, just because your listing states that you provide basic amenities doesn’t mean it’s acceptable to offer cheap soaps and shampoos. A little effort goes a long way.

What was once considered “luxury” a decade ago has shifted dramatically, and now “luxury” is fairly standard, even for the smallest of vacation rental properties. To increase your chances of getting five-star reviews (the gold standard of vacation rentals and repeat business), you’ll have to wow your guests. Here are a few ideas for achieving this:

● Use quality products in your bathroom, like high-end soaps and shampoos
● Invest in plush towels, bathrobes, pillows, and linen
● Stock your fridge with useful basics, such as water bottles and condiments
● Include local maps and tips
● Take the time to create a welcome basket (preferably inspired by your local neighborhood)

Source: Pinterest

3) Listing On Too Many Sites
If you’re in the early stages of renting your property, it may be tempting to start listing on every vacation rental platform possible. However, you should refrain from doing so. Too many listing across the Web can quickly become difficult to manage. This means that every time your listing changes in the slightest, you’ll have to update across several sites. It’s easy for something to slip through the cracks, and the last thing you want is for your home to be misrepresented on one of your selling channels.

Additionally, if you aren’t ultra-careful with your bookings, you might accidentally overbook and have to cancel on one of your guests. On platforms like Airbnb, canceling on a guest is shown publicly, and could make future potential guests deem you untrustworthy. To stay on the safe side, stick to two or three vacation rental platforms that have worked well for you. Over time, you may even notice that just one platform is all you need.

4) Taking Your Own Photos
Unless you’re a professional photographer, it’s best that you don’t take your own photos. Sure, the smartphones of today are more than capable of producing beautiful imagery than ever. But not only do professional cameras take mobile capabilities to the next level, but professionals understand how to frame a shot, edit it, and show off your vacation rental in the best light.

If you’re listing your property on Airbnb, you may be able to take advantage of free photography services. Otherwise, conduct a local Google search for nearby photographers. Not convinced on the power of professional photography? Take a look at the difference between these amateur and professional photos:

Source: Real Estate Photography

Source: The Memory Mill

Source: Tony Mwendi Kinkela

5) Setting The Same Price Year Round
Perhaps you’ve spent a bit of time perfecting your price, and want to leave it alone for the rest of the year. This might sound good in theory, but isn’t smart in practice. As a property owner, you should stay away from flat pricing year-round. Here are some reasons you’d want to increase your prices:

● Holiday seasons
● Weekend getaways
● Peak season in your local area (for example, winter might be a low season in Virginia Beach, but high season in Aspen, Colorado)
● Festivals and various other events

On the other hand, you might consider lowering your price during the off-season, to keep your property competitively priced when there’s not much happening in the area.

Restoring Balance: Feng Shui for Your Vacation Rental Experience

Posted By Mclain

Source: goldhillretreat.com

The philosophy of Feng Shui stems from balance and harmony. The words translate to wind-water. It promotes well-being by rearranging energy. Keeping your home full of clean energy is simple enough when you are residing there, but what happens when you choose to rent out your space.

Receive Graciously

Removing unwanted energies and promoting harmonious chi is the art of Feng Shui. Utilizing elements like, earth,air, and wood enhance a positive, free-flowing, feel good energy waves that flow through your space.

Citrus is an uplifting, and mood-boosting, aroma that is known to increase motivation and encourage an overall sense of well being. Incorporating an orange spray is a quick and effective method to keep your visitors happy.

Plants are very powerful they absorb negative energy and purify your air. Every once and awhile bring your greenery outdoors so they can release the energy that might have been absorbed. Opt for plants that have round leaves and an easy care regimen.

First Impression Room

We know how fast it takes to make a first impression and how difficult it can be to change it. This is the same for vacation rentals. Whether you are setting up your space to rent out, or you have just returned from your own travels, having a clear path from the door into your home creates an ultimate, and welcoming, first impression.

This is the room that makes your visitors say wow. Turning your couch towards the entrance of this room greats your visitors as opposed to have them walk into to be shafted by the back of your couch.

Ditch Clutter

Clutter traps energy inside your home creating a sense of anger, or frustrating, energy. Think a stagnant pond with buzzing mosquitoes. Not very welcoming. If you are renting your space, pack away personal effects like family photos and knick-knacks.

Leaving only essential items out in each room like kitchen appliances, or towels in the bathroom. Depersonalizing each room will rid the negative energy from your space and encourage the flow current towards positive energy.

3 Ways to Make Your Backyard Pool Safer

Posted By Mclain

Source: telugucommunitynews.com

It is that time of year again. Hot weather, bright sunshine, and of course the cool pool. Summer is fun and often shared spending time with friends and family. Hosting backyard BBQs and pool parties are not uncommon, and neither are the disturbing statistics about child related drownings that occur in the U.S each year.

Accidental drowning is the leading cause of death for children under the age of four. Utilize these tips to ensure your family is safe while having fun this summer.

Invest in Safety

A fence is a crucial step in protecting your little one from falling into the pool. Adults who may be off balance due to indulging in a few libations will also be protected from an accidental slip and fall into your pool. Most cities in the country make a pool safety fence a requirement these days. The recommendations is that the fence is at least two feet high and has a self closing child resistant gate.

Establish Ground Rules

Making sure everyone who uses your pool knows the rule is a proactive step in keeping safe. Enforcing the rules may seem cumbersome, but those who do not follow the rules are at risk of danger. Some common rules are do not swim alone, no diving in shallow water, if you can’t swim wear a life jacket, as well as be within arms reach of small children.

Keeping the gate closed, or the pool cover on after everyone is done is also a great way to keep the grounds safe when there is no supervision. It takes a split second for a drowning to occur. There are products on the market today like pool alarms that alert you to something falling into your pool.

Be Present

Nothing beats vigilance. An adult, or teenager, who can swim watching the pool is by far the best safety measure you can take. A general rule of thumb would be to avoid swimming without proper supervision or at least a swimming buddy.

It is very easy to get caught up in a conversation while everyone is enjoying the backyard, but accidents happen fast. Keeping a constant eye on all pool activity is essential.

What You Need to Know About Vacation Rental Insurance

Posted By Mclain

Source: investopedia.com

Having a second home or a vacation rental property needs to be managed well and protected sufficiently. A lot of homeowners make the mistake, and take the risk, of thinking their policy will cover issues arising from using their property as a vacation or short term rental.

There are some unique risks that may occur and therefore you should have unique coverage when converting your primary residence into a rental. If you are looking for vacation, or short term, rental insurance here are a few things to keep in mind:

Your Vacation Rental can be your Primary Residence

If you are using your primary residence you can  use a vacation rental policy. Most policies will add an additional one million dollars in personal liability and up to fifty thousand in loss of use. If the property needs to be rebuilt you can use that extra loss of use to relocate, which is quite vital. Most vacation rental insurance policies cancel out your existing homeowners policy.

Your Homeowner’s Policy Does Not Cover Vacation Rentals

In most cases your policy will carry a clause that any claim that is made in regards to business activity on your property can be denied. A lot of policies exclude business activity. Your need a business policy.

A vacation rental insurance policy is considered a business policy because it covers your business liability, the business income, as well as the business property. Your rental home and all of its contents are insured. You would be covered if a guest caused damage or injured themselves.

There Is An Ideal Policy Perfect for You

Because many insurance companies consider a vacation property a business regardless of how much you earn, many of them offer unique Vacation Rental Insurance plans tailored to your situation. For example, if you have a condo, the inside of your condo is usually not covered under your condo association insurance. The personal liability policy that is apart of your homeowners insurance does not cover guests in your household.

Typical Vacation Rental Insurance Coverage:

Liability: Any guests or anyone who is injured.

Contents: The property and items in your home in the event of a fire or damage.

Structures: Any damage or loss to the building ( can extend to other items like swimming pool)

Lost Income: If you cannot rent your home due to damage you can be reimbursed for the financial loss

The Best Way to Manage A Rental Property

Posted By Mclain

Source: Simicdom.com

There are a few things you need to keep in mind before you become a landlord. If a rental property is not taken care of properly, your investment will fall to pieces. Staging your property, doing the maintenance, collecting the rent and marketing the rental property are only a few of the many tasks involved in managing a rental. Fortunately there are a few different methods of managing that suit any landlord’s situation.

Keeping your property thriving, updated, and generating money is the name of the vacation rental game. This article will help you decide weather you are going to take a DIY approach, or outsource to a professional.

Ways to Manage Your Rental Property

There are three methods of managing your property. Each with their own positives and negatives. Depending on your schedule, skill level, and budget, one of these methods will be your ideal choice for managing your vacation rental.

DIY

The do it yourself approach to managing means you are in charge of everything. You collect rent, file taxes, and fix any maintenance issues that may arise. While you may have total control as the property and business owner, you will be up to your eyeballs in what seems like never-ending tasks. You are not an expert on everything and you may miss certain things if you think you can do it all. Preparing your taxes or legal documents and repairing your property (like your roof) can significantly damage your finances and business if not done correctly.

Half & Half

With this approach you manage the areas you consider yourself an expert in while you outsource the tasks you do not have the time, the motivation, or the skill set to manage.

Outsource

You own the property but you do not want to be a manager in the trenches. Outsourcing is the best solution. A property management company handles everything from rent collection, repairs & maintenance, and tenant interactions such as tenant move-in/out. You will have the freedom, and less headaches, when you hire a management team to take care of the nitty-gritty.

5 of the Most Popular San Diego Festivals To Attend This Summer

Posted By Mclain

Summer is rolling around the corner, and with it, some of the best San Diego Festivals start to launch in full force. Whether you’re a local or planning to purchase real estate in San Diego, it helps to understand what’s happening in your city. And believe it or not, some San Diego festivals aren’t as widely known as their attendant count suggests. To help choose your summer itinerary, we’ve catalogued five can’t miss festivals in San Diego:

1) Cinco de Mayo Festival

http://www.visitpb.com

The three-day Cinco de Mayo fiesta is one you won’t want to miss. Restaurant specials span the entire weekend, not to mention live music throughout from several popular Latin bands. Take the lowrider Lane to see some of the most impressive classic cars, and don’t forget about the Stagecoach rides. This year, the historic Old Town will be transformed into the largest Cinco de Mayo celebration, and the event is kid-friendly, too. A designated kids area will keep children busy with activities during the day, while parents can listen to live tunes nearby. Different events will take place on each day; head over to their website to see the daily lineup of musical acts and activities.

2) 2018 Rhythm & Brews Festival

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Craft beer aficionados will rejoice at the 2018 Rhythm & Brews Festival. Guests will be able to sample over 120 types of craft beers from over 50 award-winning breweries, and there will be plenty of food to pair it with. A special VIP section includes early admission, a tented beer garden, three different food items to pair, and access to some of the more rare beers. As with any great event, live music will keep you entertained throughout. The event takes place on May 5th, and proceeds from the event go to the San Diego Brewers Guild.

3) Oysterfest

https://media.sandiegoreader.com/img/photos/2016/06/13/FRIDAY-oysterfest_t670.jpg?b3f6a5d7692ccc373d56e40cf708e3fa67d9af9d

Oysterfest is one of the city’s most popular events for beer, seafood, live music, an art exhibition, and ideal bayside views. This event is a true ode to the oyster, and fresh, succulent oysters will be shipped in from all around California’s coasts. The 2010 festival is from June 9th and 10th, with live performances by Ghostland Observatory, Matisyahu, Billy the Kid, and over a dozen others. The event is sponsored by brands you know and love, like Lyft, Tito’s Handmade Vodka, Sierra Nevada craft beer, and Parking Panda.

4) Sun & Sea Festival


http://sunandseafestival.com

The annual Sun & Sea Festival is free for everyone, and is the perfect summer family outing. The event takes place in July, and brings together some of the best sand sculptors from around the world, where they compete to make some of the most intricate, elaborate sand creations you’ll likely ever see. Dubbed “the original Imperial Beach sandcastle competition,” it never fails to impress. Expect a pancake breakfast kickoff, followed by a wide array of stunning sand scenes, a live parade, carnival rides, and music.

There’s also plenty of children’s craft activities, including a Kidz N’ Kastles Competition. And lastly, no San Diego event is complete without a curated selection of foods. Guests will be able to sample foods from the Certified Farmer’s Market, and local restaurants will offer special, discounted menus. This year’s event takes place on July 13th & 14th, 2018.

5) Kaaboo Del Mar Festival

http://www.visitcalifornia.com/

No list of festivals is complete without a music festival, and the Kaaboo Del Mar is certainly one of San Diego’s best. Taking place right at the Del Mar Fairgrounds, North County residents no longer have to make the trek down South, and can partake in the festivities right in their own backyard. KABOO’s lineup is mix of legacy and local acts. In the past, bands like Aerosmith, Cypress Hill, Hall and Oates, and Chris Isaak have performed alongside local acts that define the community. This year’s lineup includes Katy Perry, Imagine Dragons, and the Foo Fighters.

The festival takes place over three days, and unlike your typical music festival, is very well-organized and clean (real, flushing toilets, versus portable toilets). The main mission for KABOO is to appeal to all five senses by mixing music, art, comedy, and cuisine. There are several levels of the festival that are optional for guests that make this possible. For example, with “Palate,” visitors will be able to sample artisanal fare in an upscale culinary environment, while “Amplify” elevates the festival experience to another level. And lastly, over at “Bask,” guests can enjoy premium beach-side cabanas, and a direct stage view with a pool. This year, the event takes place between September 16th – 18th.

7 Things Relocators Need To Know About San Diego

Posted By Mclain

Image source: https://www.halfmarathons.net

Relocating is never a walk in the park, especially when you’re traveling far distances. And culture shock isn’t just apropos for international travel–even people moving to San Diego from San Francisco can experience a bit of “culture shock.” After all, this is a huge city with a small-town feel. Whether you’re a real estate professional helping a client, or an individual researching what to expect when you move, the following tips can help you.

1) The Weather Is Always Temperate
The weather in San Diego is temperate year round, which means you can expect a nice day most of the year. The average temperature in the city is 63.65, and the annual low temperature is 57.5 degrees. There aren’t too many places like this in the country, so it’s important to prepare. If you plan on staying for a while and purchasing a house, it may to be time to shed some of the weight of those heavy winter clothes. You can get rid of them by hosting a clothing swap (advertise on sites like Meetup), selling them on a site like Poshmark or Ebay, or donating them.

2) You May Need To Pass A Smog Check
If the model of your car is 1976 or newer, you might need to pass a smog check before you’re able to transfer your out-of-state vehicle registration. California’s Smog Check program is a part of the state’s effort to enhance the way we breathe, and keep pollution to a bare minimum. These checks are able to detect when vehicles have higher emissions than normal. You’ll need to do this within 20 years of moving, and then every two years after that. Here’s more information on the California Smog regulations.

3) You Can Visit Tijuana For The Day
Living in San Diego, you’re right at the border of Mexico, which means you get to hop into another country on-demand. From San Diego, Mexico’s nearest city, Tijuana, is just a 30-minute drive. Within less than an hour, you can immerse yourself in another culture. And there are plenty of things to do in Tijuana.

You might also want to check out Valle de Guadalupe, which is considered Mexico’s Napa Valley. Valle de Guadalupe produces 90% of the country’s wine, and there are dozens of wineries to explore, and some are home to amazing restaurants with fresh, gourmet cuisine. Before you cross the border, download the Best Time To Cross The Border app, which pools crossing wait times for all Mexico and Canadian borders. Otherwise, there’s the official Border Protection Border Wait Times from the U.S. Customs site.

4) Local Farmers Markets Are Everywhere
If you’re a foodie and value healthy eating, San Diego is one of the best places to be. Fortunately, this is Farmers Market central, and you won’t be hard pressed to find the nearest one. After all, San Diego has more small farms than any other county in the United States. The city is the top producer of avocados, and ranks number three in honey production, and number nine in strawberry production.

No matter which farmers market you go to, you’ll find straight-from-the-farm fresh fruit and produce. Ocean Beach Certified Farmers Market features live music, llama rides, and art vendors on Wednesday, while North Park Farmers Market is chock full or artists and innovators in this hip little area. Check out this Farmers Market Guide for more info on all available choices.

5) Not All Beach Areas Are Safe
Dare devils take heed: while it may be tempting to hop in the San Diego waters and revel in all their beauty, some beaches are very dangerous to swim in. Although the beaches are idyllic, many of them have riptides and backwash (when a harsh wave crashes against a cliff) year round, especially near the La Jolla area.

All beaches are clearly marked, advising visitors which are safe and which are not, and it’s crucial that you follow these rules. If you’re interested in surfing, for example, don’t run any beach with nice waves–there are specific beaches that are designated (and ideal) for surfing, like the Tourmaline Surfing Park.

6) Walk & Transit Scores Vary
Think about your prefered method of transportation, and do your research on how your ideal San Diego neighborhood stacks up. From neighborhood to neighborhood, public transportation and walk scores vary. Little Italy has the highest score on both measures, while Carmel Valley has the lowest. Check out neighborhood guides to see which is most appealing to you, and then look at their corresponding score. You can also take a look at the Walk & Transit Scores here.

7) Your Dog Needs A License
California State Law requires that dogs older than five months be licensed. And to get your license, you’ll need proof that your canine has passed inspection for rabies and has received proper vaccinations. You’ll need to do this within 30 days of your move, and can get your license at your local animal shelter or online.

Without licensing your dog, you could impose fines and in the unfortunate event that you lose your dog, may have trouble locating it and getting it back. Most jurisdictions charge $20 for a license. If you happen to have a horse, pony, donkey, or mule, you’ll need to license them, too.

Home Staging Tips For Your Long-term Rental Property

Posted By Mclain

Contrary to what many people think, staging is just as critical for rental properties as it is for selling a home. According to the Real Estate Staging Association, homes that are strategically staged sell 73% faster than those that are not.

Photo source: https://go2guysinc.com

Staging your rental property can be challenging, regardless of the property type you’re listing. Whether you’re staging real estate in San Diego or decking out a cabin in Aspen, your techniques will play a crucial role. Keep in mind that staging for long-term rentals vary from staging for short-term rentals. When you’re renting your property for a long-term lease, all your hard work will eventually be evacuated.

Still, your home’s interior is crucial for visitors to be able to envision themselves living there. And when it comes to staging, you’re forced to remove your personal preferences of style and design in favor of what your guests are most likely to enjoy. With the right home staging techniques, you are well on your way towards getting your property rented quicker, at much better rates. Here are a few home-staging tops for your long-term rental:

Pay Attention To Curb Appeal

When you pay attention to your curb appeal, you make it much easier to create a great first impression. Of course, the basics apply to your outdoor upkeep: trimming, mowing, pulling weeds, and cleaning up fixtures are among some of the standard practices for ensuring your curb appeal is clean and inviting. From there, you can take it up a notch incorporate decorative features.

Maintain Neutral Colors

It may be tempting to design according to your personality, but when it comes to staging, neutral is the way to go. Bold colors and patterns are okay in small doses. The overall theme of the home should be neutral, too. What seems like a good theme on your own agenda might not be a good staging theme. Be wary of color clutter, which can occur when you have too much decoration and statement pieces with varying colors. To help guide you, create a color palette that you can refer to often. Use this free Color Generator to create the perfect palette.

Make Your Home Look Lived In

Making your space look “homey” and lived in makes it easier for prospective renters to picture themselves in the space. There’s a fine line between making a home look comfortably lived in and the home appearing messy. Think of this like breaking in a new pair of shoes. Here are a few ways to achieve this:

  • Drape throw blankets and throw blankets over sofas, armchairs, and bedspreads.
  • Leave books and magazines on tables and nightstands. Keep some books open to show full pages.
  • Incorporate family heirlooms. Photos and other heirlooms give a home personality and individual character. It shows that the property and the people behind it have a story.
  • Let your storage show. Organized items make a home feel clean and filled in. Your organization and home storage also reveals a lot about your space, and it demonstrates how different areas can be utilized. Check out these storage space tips for different rooms in your house.
  • Take advantage of distressed items. Even when distressed items are new, they give off the appearance of classic, care-free character.
  • Spread plants. Greenery has not only been psychologically proven to improve moods and boost creativity, but can liven up a dull space. Incorporate different type of plants in your home, from larger varieties to small air plants and geraniums along your window sills.

Tailor Your Style To Your Environment

Every business caters to different audiences depending on the market and target. Similarly, you want your property to be marketable to those that are most likely to sign the dotted line. When choosing your staging furniture and accessories, consider your local environment and the people that reside there. Is it contemporary and suburban, or young and trendy? For the former, you’d likely want to go with a more minimal, modern approach, while the later could use bohemian or industrial finishes.

The more you understand about your neighborhood, the better you can predict the type of tenant that will be interested in your property. And when you can predict the type of people who will walk through your doors, you can better cater to their lifestyle and needs.

Highlight Your Selling Features

Your home’s selling features should be highlighted to maximize your sales potential. For example, if you have built-in bookshelves, emphasize them with accessories, LED lights, shelving wallpaper. If you have a fireplace, make it the focal point of the room. For example, some tips for highlighting your fireplace include adding unique lighting styles like taped or puck lighting, and throwing in art around the mantle.

Consider A Professional Staging Service

Sometimes, getting the help of a professional staging service is just the best way to go.This absolves you of the responsibility of curating your own rental property, which can be time-consuming laborious. A home staging service will listen carefully as you articulate your vision, and provide valuable suggestions and design advice that you may not have been previously aware of. They are training in increasing the perceived value of your home, and don’t have any emotional attachments that could distract you from what needs to get done.

Another major benefit of a professional staging company is that it can save you from having to purchase all of your staging furniture independently. With staging companies, you can rent all the furniture you need. This is particularly useful if you won’t be able to benefit from investing in furniture yourself.

Spring Break Guide to Carlsbad and Oceanside for Families

Posted By Mclain

Sunny weather, striking landscapes, and a thriving culinary scene have made the Carlsbad and Oceanside areas a popular vacation destination. In this post, we’ll share some of the best local options for families, so you can plan the perfect getaway!

spring 1

LEGOLAND – Photo Credit: Legoland California

We’ll start with an international family favorite – LEGOLAND! Although this part of Southern California’s coast may be most famous for sun and sand, it’s also home to LEGOLAND California, one of the larger and more elaborate theme parks inspired by this beloved children’s toy. Many LEGOLAND attractions are designed around hands-on learning and play, including interactive musical instruments.

spring 2

Sea Life Aquarium – Photo Credit: Citytoursofsandiego.com

The LEGOLAND California complex also includes the Sea Life Aquarium, where you can get an up-close look at some of California’s aquatic wildlife – including sting rays, starfish, and sharks. In keeping with its LEGOLAND affiliation, the Sea Life Aquarium houses a pirate-themed water-cannon battle.

spring 3

Batiquitos Lagoon Foundation Nature Center – Photo Credit: Batiquitoslagoon.com

Tourists flock to mountain biking and hiking trails in the region. Although there’s plenty on offer for experienced mountain bikers, hikers, and trail runners, family groups with children in tow will find plenty of outdoor options for shorter, less-taxing excursions. If you’re looking to stay close to the beach, the Batiquitos Lagoon offers birdwatching trips along the coastal wetlands.

spring 4

Carlsbad Ranch Flower Fields – Photo Credit: Sandiegan.com

Every spring at the Carlsbad Ranch, the Flower Fields open for visitors. These vibrant flower gardens are home to a “sweet pea maze” of lush sweet-pea hedges and a greenhouse filled with orchids. If you’re looking for a retreat from the sun, take a stroll through this unique botanical exhibit.

spring 5

Campfire Restaurant – Photo Credit: Sandiegomagazine.com

Last but certainly not least, where to eat? California’s coast has always been a culinary standout, and the San Diego region is no exception. Carlsbad restaurant Campfire specializes in grilled dishes, with most menu items cooked over an open fire, infusing meat, fresh fish, and vegetables with signature smoky flavors. Kids will love the broccoli with aioli and lime vinaigrette, and adults will enjoy the artisan cocktails.

If your kids are clamoring for pizza after a long day at the beach, the best pizzas in San Diego County can be found at Carlsbad’s Pizza Port, which serves up traditional pies like pepperoni along with in-house creations like their Pizza Ocean Beach with portabella mushrooms and butternut squash. We recommend pairing your pie with Pizza Port’s house-made root beer.

These are just a few of the attractions on offer in the Carlsbad and Oceanside area. Whether you love chilling by the pool, hiking in the hills, gazing at colorful fish, or diving through the waves, you’ll be able to enjoy a fun-filled vacation in spectacular surroundings. And as you can see, there’s plenty here for the whole family!

McLain Properties has provided property management, vacation rental, and real estate services to clients in the San Diego area since 1978. We pride ourselves on responsive, customized service, and our extensive local knowledge and investment property experience combine to provide you with stellar representation in this competitive market. Call us to schedule a consultation today!